TURNPIKE ROAD - 1749


Farnborough represented the largest village on the ancient road between Bromley and Sevenoaks. This road was turnpiked by act of parliament in 1749.  It connected the New Cross to Bromley Turnpike that dated from 1719 with the Sevenoaks to Tonbridge Turnpike dating from 1709. 

This link in the wider turnpike network was unique in southern england because of the considerable number of route changes made during  its lifetime.  These are detailed in the pages on this part of the website, and can still be traced on the ground today, despite the recent changes made when the M25 was constructed.

The map extracts below are from "An Entirely New & Accurate Survey Of The County Of Kent, With Part Of The County Of Essex", by William Mudge, 1801. They show the roads and turnpike around Farnborough before the first of the number of changes in route, that took place starting in 1834.  This page tracks the original route - further pages in this part of the website describe the later changes, mostly minor but one quite extensive.

Click on the map and photos to enlarge.

Maps: copyright David Hale and the MAPCO : Map And Plan Collection Online website at www.mapco.net.

The turnpike started in Market Square Bromley, then the route took the road directly along what is now the A21 Hastings Road. It passes the modern site of The Crown at Bromley Common (below left), and continues to Locksbottom.

     

At Locksbottom it passes Ye Olde Whyte Lion pub (above right) which dates from 1642, before the start of the Turnpike Age   

 

It then follows the old main road to the right to enter Farnborough Village.  Farnborough bypass was not built and opened until 1927.


In Farnborough it passes what is now the Change Of Horses pub, but which was then called the New Inn, to reach the most significant building on the route, the old George and Dragon Inn.  This is known to have had extensive accommodation for travellers.. 


Ar the George and Dragon the route swings to the right to pass what used to be Farnborough Post Office, also St. Giles church, and onward down to meet Shire Lane. Today's main road through the village was not built until later, after which there was the final change.to the turnpike route.


At Shire Lane, the route turns left for a short distance, then right to climb up Old Hill. It then descends again to the junction at Green Street Green to rejoin the route of today's A21 at what is now a major roundabout. The cottage with the post box where Old Hill briefly joins Cudham Lane North shown in the photo (right) has the address No. 1 Old Hill.


The turnpike leaves today's A21 again at Pratts Bottom, turning right to start the climb up Rushmore Hill, past the present location of Coolings Garden Centre to enter Knockholt.



At the turning shown in the photos the turnpike swings to the left to head toward Dunton Green. As can be seen the road here is still called "Old London Road"



Passing the entrance to what is now the Fort Halstead complex, the road then descends steeply toward Dunton Green, via the modern roundabout shown in the photograph.. There was quite a lot of disruption to road patterns in this locality when the M25 was built.

  

Crossing the M25 the turnpike reaches the junction shown in the second photograph below, approaching it at this time from the road shown on the left, although this would later change.



Finally the route crosses the M26 by a further bridge and proceeds through Dunton Green, Riverhead and then up the long hill into Sevenoaks. 

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